Proposal to change Augusta polling locations met with resistance

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Richmond County Board of Elections is considering moving several polling locations in time for the 2014 elections.

Major Price says during the 10 years he's lived at the Peabody Apartments, he's been able to vote in most elections.

Price says if elections officials decide to move his polling location about a mile away to Crawford Avenue, he won't be able to vote as much.

He's wheelchair bound and he says getting around can be difficult.

"I wouldn't vote in every election there was," he said.

Major Price says he'd probably only vote in general elections if the Peabody apartment polling location is moved.

He's 1 of 284 registered voters at the Peabody polling location; he says many of them depend on easy access to the polls.

"In a wheelchair you come on down the stairs and vote. You're going to lose some voters here if they move it," he said.

Elections officials say they will try to line up transportation for residents if the polling locations change.

They will vote within three weeks about moving the polling locations.

The Board of Elections is proposing to change polling locations for 13,000 voters in Augusta because many voters are casting their ballots before Election Day.

They are also planning to reduce the number of Election Day voting locations from 50 to 44 and add an advance voting site at Diamond Lakes Regional Park.

Doctor Charles Smith, the president of the Augusta NAACP, is concerned about the way minorities and elderly people would be affected by the polling changes.

"Leave the seniors alone; make other modifications and adjustments. Some of them will be kind of stubborn and not leave their voting precinct; that will suppress voting," Smith, said.

Price also thinks that it could discourage some voters away from the polls.

"You may not lose a whole lot, but you're going to lose some voters," he said.

The Board of Elections will be taking feedback for three more weeks.

Here's a link to their input page as well as a complete list of possible changes to polling locations:

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